The Scheduled Tribe of Manipur: Anal Tribe

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  • The Anal is a major tribe of Manipur enlisted by the Constitution of India as one of the scheduled tribes of the country. The majority of Anal tribes are found in Chandel district. There are about 45 Anal villages in Chandel and three villages in Burma.
  • According to the Census of 2001, the population of the Anal tribe is 13, 853.
  • The Anals are the people who were formerly described as Old Kukis, but at present they are in favour of getting Naga affiliation.
  • The word “Anal” is believed to be corrupted from the Meitei word “Naanba”, i.e slippery though the more popular belief is the derivation of the word from Angal/Analpa, the founder of the Anal Khullen.
  • The migration of the Anal tribe can be traced back up to Mongolia from where they shifted to Upper Burma in Kabaw Valley in the Trans-Chindwin Basin and thereafter they moved to Lushai Hills and thence into Manipur. They belong to the group “Pakan”, first formed at Chin Hills of Burma in their course of migration.
  • Before 1919 i.e, pre-Christian and Western education, they were head hunters, the believers of the Supreme Being Asupavan, the creator. Their traditional religion is centred round the propitiation of God Wangpare who married an Anal girl. They have a lot of pre-Christian social functions held on their convenient days.
  • Ekam is the biggest social festival of Anal tribe performed only by a rich man expending venture some giving community feast for a weak to seek God’s blessing. There are six different stages for the successful completion. These different stages are performed one year and it generally takes six years to complete. At present it is held jointly by the community.
  • The Anals are agriculturalists subordinated by rearing of animals and cottage industries including carpentry, basketry, weaving, tailoring. Women are generally busy in weaving.
  • There is moiety system and the two exogamous social groups are Chanang and Kori having 39 and 40 sub-groups each, they marry either by arrangement (Nupa nachol) or by elopement (Echunthu or Piruili). Among Anals, besides the existence of three able men (a) Petha (Hero), (b) Kholpu (Physician) and  Tholpu (blacksmith), there are different names of the village authorities, namely Khuruang (chief), Khusam (asst. chief), Minpu (treasurer) and Tangsel (secretary).
  • The normal dress of women is a fillet (Harsunhno) and a bodice (Lungwin) and a blouse where as men put on kilt like dress and a shirt, lungam. During dance, men wear headgear, labu made of leather, took of boar and feathers; wrist ring, phintha made of brass or bamboo along with Kar-Khung, sword belt and bamboo to drink wine/tea. The females decorate with Aphe (necklace) having a half conch shell, hal (armlet), Athruthu (bracelet), Anal Partha (necklace) earring and headgear (Lukhum).

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